Truvada - How it works against HIV

Tenofovir/emtricitabine, trademark Truvada, is a fixed-dose combination of two antiretroviral drugs used for the treatment of HIV. It consists of 300 milligrams of tenofovir and 200 milligrams of emtricitabine. By combining the two agents into one tablet, it reduces the pill burden and increases compliance with antiretroviral therapy. The drug has been examined for use as a pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV infection. A Cochrane review found that both tenofovir alone, as well as the tenofovir/emtricitabine combination, significantly decreased the risk of contracting HIV. The Food and Drug Administration approved it for prophylactic use on July 16, 2012. The drug has side effects including: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, loss of appetite and diarrhea, liver and kidney toxicity and loss of bone density.
The HEAT study (randomized, double-blind, placebo-matched, multicentre) showed that once-daily emtricitabine/tenofovir plus lopinavir/ritonavir or boosted atazanavir or efavirenz were effective in the initial treatment of patients with HIV-1 infection (with screening plasma HIV-1 RNA levels of ≥1,000,000 copies/mL in ACTG 5202). In other randomized trials, emtricitabine/tenofovir DF 200 mg/300 mg once daily was an effective backbone for boosted protease inhibitor (PI)-based regimens in the initial treatment of HIV-1 infection. Emtricitabine/tenofovir DF in combination with various boosted PIs was generally well tolerated by adults with HIV-1 infection. Truvada was developed by Gilead Sciences and approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 2004. A combination pill containing Truvada and efavirenz (Sustiva) is also available and is marketed as Atripla.

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